So I awoke this morning to read how the single worst professor I had the University of Portland thinks the coming war with Iraq is morally justified. The Oregonian even slapped a photo of him on the front page. One can just hear the excitement in the newsroom: “Hurray! We have a Catholic face for a just war!”

Never mind that Pope John Paul II says war must be a last resort and that it must be with UN sanction. Never mind that the US Catholic Bishops statement says “…war would not meet the strict conditions in Catholic teaching for the use of military force.” Never mind that it was Jesus himself who taught that “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matt 5:9). Thanks now to a UP philosophy professor of dubious intellect and talent, some of the Catholic laity will be persuaded that, “Gosh, maybe this war for oil is OK after all.” I really couldn’t be much more appalled. Maybe Jesus should have included another line in the Sermon on the Mount: “Cursed are the war mongers, for they shall be called jackasses.” One wouldn’t think it would’ve been needed, but it might have helped.

I am amazed the the Bush doctrine of preemptive first strikes being justified as self-defense is being accorded any seriousness whatsoever as an argument for a “just war.” It utterly contravenes the Just War Theory as understood by, well, everybody, but some administration flacks and “deep” thinkers are trying to make the case. It’s occurred to more than me that the Bush doctrine applied universally results in World War III. Indeed, one could even argue that it legitimizes the terrorist attacks of September 11. You didn’t think I was kidding when I said Bush was an idiot, did you?

Pick any Democrat in the field—yes, even Rev. Al Sharpton who I detest—and if he or she gets the Democratic nomination, they’ve got my vote in the 2004 presidential. We would be extraordinarily hard-pressed to do worse than who we’ve got.